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School Announcements
Glens Falls residents vote “Yes” on the 2013-14 school budget -- Capital reserve expenditures approved; Bus purchase approved

May 21, 2013—Glens Falls City School District residents approved the 2013-14 school budget today by a margin of 730 "yes" votes to 192 “no” votes – a 79 percent approval rate. The $38.3 million spending plan represents a budget-to-budget spending decrease of $660,465, or 1.7 percent. The approved budget uses $1.7 million in savings from previous years to keep the tax levy increase to 2.5 percent for next school year. Nearly 15 staff and teaching positions are eliminated within the proposal. Some of the district’s special education, health services, and enrichment programs are being restructured into new delivery models.

Voters also approved expenditures from the capital reserve fund for repairs and renovations at several of the district’s school buildings, and the purchase of a replacement school bus. The capital reserve proposition passed by a vote of 728 to 181; the school bus purchase proposition passed by a vote of 665 to 248.

Jeremy Deason and Leslee Kunst were elected to the Board of Education. Mr. Deason will begin a five-year term on July 1, 2013, after receiving 666 votes. Ms. Kunst will begin a four-year term on May 22, 2013, to fill a vacancy that occurred earlier this year. Ms. Kunst received 175 write-in votes.
Fifth-graders win regional essay contest on influential women

Photo of essay contest winnersPaul Trackey and Hunter Montgomery – both fifth-graders at Glens Falls Middle School – were winners in this year’s American Association of University Women essay contest. The winners were chosen from more than 500 essays submitted by students at several local school districts.

Each student’s essay described a notable woman in history. Paul focused on Harriet Tubman and wrote, "She has inspired many people, including me, to help others in need of guidance… We shouldn't help others because we expect a reward, as the reward is the little spark of joy and happiness inside of us." Hunter wrote about Serena Williams after taking up tennis himself last year, and being inspired by Serena while watching her compete. “Hunter’s essay on Serena Williams was outstanding,” says teacher Amity Luce-Aurilio. “He received 103%. (Three extra points for typing.)”

In the photo at right, contest winners and honorees Paul Trackey, Hunter Montgomery, Dylan Petterson, Sam Bordeau, Sarah Phinney, Alex Dickey, Hannah Walsh, and Kaylee Frank gather with fifth-grade teachers Amity Luce-Aurilio and Mary Lea Raymond.
Sixth-graders Samantha Lunt and Drew Floyd have a few questions for President Abraham Lincoln…

Photo of students with Mrs. HunterWhat would you ask President Abraham Lincoln, if you had the opportunity to interview him? That was the question posed to students in an essay contest sponsored by the Iroquois Reading Council and The Chronicle – and GFMS sixth-graders Samantha Lunt and Drew Floyd have some of the best ideas in the area.

Drew and Samantha were two of ten students in the area who were selected as contest winners for their insightful questions. “They were invited to participate in an afternoon at The Chronicle were they learned the workings of a newspaper and interviewed a "mystery guest" (Eric Gilbert of the Great Escape),” said teacher Mary Hunter. “The students then wrote their own stories which were later shared at a dinner at the Crandall Library where families and teachers were invited to join in.”

Fifth-grader Ella Wolfstitch has also been recently honored for designing the winning poster in the Warren County Health Services’ “Tar Wars” 2013 Tobacco-Free poster contest. Her poster represents GFMS at a statewide competition, and will be featured in a tobacco-free calendar being distributed to all fourth- and fifth-graders in Warren County.
Recognizing outstanding teaching and learning during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10

Photo of Melissa RajeskiGlens Falls City School District is recognizing national Teacher Appreciation Week by recognizing committed and enthusiastic teachers from every one of our schools each day this week.

Tuesday's honoree is special education teacher Melissa Rajeski, who works with students at the Middle School. READ MORE HERE

Check back every day for a look inside some of the most dynamic classrooms around our district.
GF Nation rides to school on International Bike to School Day

Photo of students bicyclingNearly a hundred Middle School students and staff members joined organizations across the country in riding to school for International Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 8.

Incentives for Glens Falls students to bicycle to school included cycling-themed raffle items provided by Grey Ghost Bicycles, Inside Edge, and Rick’s Bike Shop. 97 bikes were parked in the middle school’s gym on Wednesday, with additional bikes lining the racks on the school’s lawn. “I was very proud to see the number of students who wore their helmet, said Coach Kevin Crossman, who helped organize the event. “I have a feeling this will be much bigger next year.”

P.J. Motsiff's fifth-grade class had more than half of students participating in bike-to-school day, and won a pizza party for the effort. The event raises awareness of increased physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, and concerns for the environment. Additional details are available at www.walkbiketoschool.org.

Tango Fusion comes to physical educatuion classes at middle and high schools

Photo of Tango Fusion dance performance in GFHS gymThis winter, students have been learning Latin dance moves in the high school and middle school gym, thanks to the instruction of professional dancer Johnny Martinez from Tango Fusion in Saratoga. A scholarship from the Adirondack Chapter of U.S. Dance and funding from the BOCES Arts in Education grant brought Mr. Martinez to Glens Falls City Schools for two 4-day series of dance instruction for more than 640 students in grades 6-12.

"The high school physical education department hopes that this experience will provide our students with an appreciation for a form of organized social dance that they may have never experienced before,” says PE teacher Michele Venditto. “As a lifetime activity, dance offers many social and health benefits."

“I actually heard a lot of students say, ‘This isn't as difficult as I thought it would be,’ and ‘This is more fun than I thought!’" added PE teacher Laura Uhly. “I think the students learned about interacting socially in different ways than they are used to—dancing together instead of using technology to interact, and also learned some cultural differences between Latin countries and the US.  Overall, it was a very positive experience.”

Students gathered for a large-group performance by Mr. Martinez and partner Diane Lachtrupp Martinez—along with several Glens Falls students—at the conclusion of the units. Tony Farrar and Cheryl Humphrey from Adirondack U.S. Dance were instrumental in bringing this program to GFSD.
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